The German Child by Catherine Hokin

Horrendous & Heart-Breaking

The German Child by Catherine Hokin is a powerful dual timeline novel that completely captivated me. It is horrendous, heart breaking and powerful.

The action is set during World War II in Berlin and also in 1979/1980 America. We see the dreadful exploits of the Angel of Death in Germany during the war, continue afterwards. Far from seeing what was done as war crimes, the Angel of Death is proud of her lifetime of horrendous crimes.

We see the power wielded as one chooses who lives and who dies, who is deemed worthy and who isn’t. First it was the Jewish people during World War II, then it was the African Americans in Alabama as the white supremacists supported the horrendous acts of prejudice and inequality.

The Lebensborn program of the Nazis robbed families of children, and children of their mothers. Blonde haired, blue-eyed boys were selected for the Nazis Fatherland. Girls were not valued so highly, being viewed only as good for breeding boys. The army of drab brown-uniformed sisters were selected to blend in as they stole children. They were meant to be unmemorable. The novel is grounded in fact as the brown sisters actually existed.

1970’s America sets up a new department determined to bring the guilty to justice, and to reunite the innocent with their birth mothers. Age old secrets come to life, illuminating the horror of it all.

The German Child was a powerful read. It completely consumed me, it horrified me and it broke my heart for the mothers whose babies were quite literally ripped from their arms or stolen from under their noses. We must never forget.

I received a free copy from the publishers for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


Book Description:

Berlin, 1944. ‘No! Not my child!’ Annaliese screams, her voice breaking as she pounds the window uselessly. But no-one looks up as the man in the SS uniform cradles her precious baby and strides away…

She lies unmoving on the threadbare cot, her throat hoarse from long hours of screaming but her tears keep falling. Her heart has been cleaved in two, now the Nazis have taken the only thing she has left – her child. She is utterly powerless against them. But as Annaliese cries herself to sleep, she makes a vow – she will find her precious baby again. Whatever it takes.

Berlin, 1979. Lawyer Evie has come to the city to investigate the horrifying stories of infants torn from their mothers during the war. One of the cases is Sebastian, whose yellowing birth certificate tells a heartbreaking tale. Evie is drawn to this lost man, and vows to do all that she can to help him.

But poring through old records, it is Evie who recognises the faded photo in a newspaper article. Her heart stops as she realises her whole life has been a devastating lie – and that her and Sebastian’s pasts are impossibly, unimaginably connected…

Fans of The Book of Lost Names and The Tattooist of Auschwitz will be swept away by this absolutely gripping and heartbreaking World War Two novel about the extraordinary power of a mother’s love.

Author Bio:

I seem to have followed a rather meandering career, including marketing and teaching and politics (don’t try and join the dots), to get where I have always wanted to be, which is writing historical fiction. I am a story lover as well as a story writer and nothing fascinates me more than a strong female protagonist and a quest. Hopefully those are what you will encounter when you pick up my books.

I am from the North of England but now live very happily in Glasgow with my American husband. Both my children have left home (one to London and one to Berlin) which may explain why I am finally writing. If I’m not at my desk you’ll most probably find me in the cinema, or just follow the sound of very loud music.

I’d love to hear from you and there are lots of ways you can find me, so jump in via my website or on my Cat Hokin FB page or on twitter @catherineh66267.

Sign up to be the first to hear about new releases from Catherine Hokin here:

Buy Link:


You can sign up for all the best Bookouture deals you’ll love at:

Sarah Hardy


Storyfire Ltd
Carmelite House
50 Victoria Embankment
London EC4Y 0DZ

Storyfire Limited, a member of Hachette UK Group, registered in England and Wales under company no. 7893911

Follow Bookouture on Facebook 
Follow Bookouture on Twitter 
Follow Bookouture on Instagram
Follow Bookouture on TikTok

If you’d like to sign up to our reviewer database you can sign up here

For the best deals on books you can’t put down, make sure to sign up to our Bookouture Deals mailing list!
Sign up here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.